Ralph Harold Martell 47th Infantry Reg., 9th Inf. Division Bronze Star & Purple Heart
Ralph Harold Martell was born on 9 Jan 1915 according to his draft card. I was unable to find his birth in the VT Vital Statistics. In the 1920 census we find the family in Grand Isle, VT, his father was age 49 and mother was age 40. Ralph was the 7th child of 8, 4 sons and 4 daughters, and Ralph was 5 years old. His father Frederick was a Rural Mail Carrier. In the 1930 census they are living at 92 Station Road in Grand Isle, VT. Bessie is the Head and 3 daughters and 3 sons are listed including Ralph, age 15. Their 9th child was born in 1920. Ralph’s father, Fred P. Martell, died in Sept 1921. In the 1940 census we find the family at 66 Murray St in Burlington and the mother Bessie is the Head with her son Ralph and a granddaughter. Ralph is age 25 and he is a bookkeeper at a printing office.
His Draft card registered on 16 Oct 1940 had his birth on 9 Jan 1915 in Grand Isle, VT and he is employed at J. S. George Auto Supplies. He was living at 148 No. Champlain St. in Burlington.
Ralph married Margaret Theresa Liberty on 11 May 1941 at St Joseph church in Burlington, VT. He was living at 148 No. Champlain St and employed at J. S George as bookkeeper, and his father Fred was born in Grand Isle and his mother Bessie Vaughn was born in Chazy, NY. Miss Liberty was living at 17 St Louis St in Burlington, VT and was employed at McAuliffe Paper Company.
Ralph enlisted 15 Oct 1942 at Rutland, VT. His service number was 31199323 and he was a Private. At that time he was living in Chittenden County, VT and was 68 inches tall and weighed 146 pounds. He had completed 1 year of college and was a bookkeeper.
Burlington Free Press 27 Oct 1942: Farewell party for Ralph at the Clement Martin Camp in Malletts Bay, VT.
Burlington Free Press 12 Jan 1943: Mrs Ralph Martell has gone to Spartansburg SC to spend a few weeks with her husband Private Ralph Martel who is in school at Camp Croft, SC.
Burlington Free Press 2 Apr 1943: Ralph’s mother received word that Ralph had arrived safely in North Africa. He had been employed as a bookkeeper for Marcel’s Express Trucking Co.
Ralph served as a Private, 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division, U.S. Army during World War II.
WWII hospital admission card: In African area: Admitted on Apr 1943 and discharged the same. Killed in Action in line of duty, details not known.
Burlington Free Press 28 May 1943 KIA in Africa on 29 Apr 1943; Burlington Free Press 29 May 1943 KIA with photo
Died 27 Apr 1943 (aged 27–28) in Tunisia, North Africa BURIAL at North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial, Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia PLOT Tablets of the Missing
Burlington Free Press 24 Jun 1943: Purple Heart
This story is part of the Stories Behind the Stars project (see www.storiesbehindthestars.org). This is a national effort of volunteers to write the stories of all 400,000+ of the US WWII fallen here on Fold3. Can you help write these stories? Related to this, there will be a smart phone app that will allow people to visit any war memorial or cemetery, scan the fallen's name and read his/her story.